ASL completes £5m sixth form centre

The Manchester and Liverpool studios of architect firm Austin-Smith:Lord have announced the completion of a £5.3m building in Accrington, Lancashire.

The new sixth form, at St Christopher's High School on Queens Road West, has achieved a BREEAM rating of 'very good'.

Austin-Smith:Lord developed the plans with the school and The Diocese of Blackburn in conjunction with built asset consultancy EC Harris, as part of its ongoing role on the Diocese of Blackburn education framework.

Other consultants on the project included AA Projects, as strategic and project managers, and Giffords, as mechanical, electrical, civil and structural engineers.

The design for the 270-place college incorporates two three-storey blocks, joined together by a glazed circulation and featuring classrooms, laboratories and a 2,000 sq ft hall. Outdoor space includes two roof gardens, providing an open-air teaching environment and a student recreation area.

The sixth form building will generate more than 20% of its energy on site through ground source heat pumps and use rainwater harvesting to provide water for toilet use.

Chris Wright, project director at Austin-Smith:Lord, said: "The finished sixth form centre has delivered on St Christopher's vision for a flexible, 21st century teaching facility that places student learning at the forefront of everything. The adaptable spaces will ensure the school continues to deliver first class education.

"Working with the school and the Diocese of Blackburn has been a very rewarding experience for the team and we look forward to continuing this successful relationship during this framework and beyond."

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